Top Ancient History Documentaries
1. Greeks – The Crucible of Civilization
This PBS production is a beautiful tribute of the glorious Ancient Greece. It tells the story of the Greek democracy from its first stirrings in 500 B.C. to the cataclysmic wars that virtually destroyed the empire. Much of the story relates how the Greeks indirectly invented politics, democracy, and philosophy as we know it, including interviews with prominent scholars of classical history whom provide insight into the major characters, including Thales, Pericles, and Socrates. Narrated by Liam Neeson, this documentary is not only engaging to the mind, but captivating to the eye. The photography captures these ancient sites impeccably and helps to depict the epic stories of this courageous culture.
2. The Mystery of the Rosetta Stone – Ancient Egypt
Just a block of stone. Yet on it lay the clue to breaking a code that baffled scholars for centuries: Egyptian hieroglyphs. This fragment was found at el-Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt , hence its modern name: the Rosetta Stone. It was dug up in 1799 by French soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte, who were enlarging a fort. Find out more about where this stone lies now, and its future.
3. Secrets of the Parthenon
A highly sophisticated restoration team is working to reassemble the Parthenon of Athens—a classic Greek building that has suffered from wars, earthquakes, and disastrous previous restoration attempts. The Parthenon’s builders created dauntingly precise yet subtle curves throughout the structure, giving the building its legendary grace.
4. Who Killed The Maya
A powerful civilization ruled the rainforests of Central America for thousands of years, and then mysteriously vanished. Historians have never known for sure what triggered their disappearance, although many have speculated about it. This documentary is about The Maya: one of the greatest empires that history has ever known.
5. Jerusalem: Center of the World
Jerusalem: Center of the World, a two-hour epic event in Hi-Definition by Emmy Award-winning producer/director Andrew Goldberg and Oregon Public Television, is the first documentary of this scope to delve into the historical facts and religious beliefs that have led so many thousands to live and die for this city.